Albany Medical Center
 Search
Home / Caring / Educating / Discovering / Find a Doctor / News / Give Now / Careers / About / Calendar / Directions / Contact
July 5, 2013 | Posted By John Kaplan, PhD

Usually when I write about stupidity in Congress I wait a couple of months before doing it again. However, I cannot help myself. This is low hanging fruit and I have to pick it. This is “truth is stranger than fiction” type of stuff. You cannot make this up. In this blog post I would like to introduce the readers to Representative Michael Clifton Burgess M.D., republican representative from Texas’ 26th Congressional District. Dr. Burgess was born in December 1950. I mention this only because it was the same month I was born. He graduated with a Bachelors of Science from North Texas State University. He graduated from medical school at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. He completed his residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology from Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas. He also completed a Masters degree in Medical Management from the University of Texas at Dallas. Dr. Burgess is the founder and chair of the Congressional Health Care Caucus, albeit it’s only member. This all suggests the likelihood that Dr. Burgess is smart. His recent statements seem to refute that likelihood.

As reported in RH Reality Check and US News and World Report, Dr. Burgess made the comment during a House Rules Committee hearing of a bill which would ban abortion after twenty weeks of pregnancy. Dr. Burgess felt this was too late and the ban should apply earlier. Dr. Burgess opposes abortion because fetuses masturbate in the uterus. If they masturbate they feel pleasure goes his reasoning and if they feel pleasure they feel pain. His supporting evidence for this contention is his observations made during his three decade long career as a practicing Obstetrician and Gynecologist. He states "Watch a sonogram of a 15-week baby, and they have movements that are purposeful. They stroke their face. If they're a male baby, they may have their hand between their legs. If they feel pleasure, why is it so hard to think that they could feel pain?"

Keep in mind that there is no medical or scientific evidence that fetuses masturbate in utero. There is no evidence that a fifteen week old fetus feels pleasure or pain. The only evidence I see is that Dr. Burgess will say just about anything, fact or fiction, to support his agenda, which in this case includes prohibiting women’s right to reproductive choice.

I will continue to monitor stupidity in Congress. My expectation is that I will have plenty to write about.

The Alden March Bioethics Institute offers a Master of Science in Bioethics, a Doctorate of Professional Studies in Bioethics, and Graduate Certificates in Clinical Ethics and Clinical Ethics Consultation. For more information on AMBI's online graduate programs, please visit our website.

3 comments | Topics: Bioethics and Public Policy, Reproductive Medicine, Women's Reproductive Rights

Comments

Adrienne

Adrienne wrote on 07/05/13 2:05 PM

OMG, such an excellent post. I feel like there are so many more cutting comments that could be made and you might have held back a little, but of course decorum must be at the forefront when discussing the Texas Congress. The bit about him being the Health Caucasus's founder, chair, and only member was beautifully done.
Athene Aberdeen

Athene Aberdeen wrote on 07/08/13 4:43 PM

I had always thought reproductive choice was whether or not to conceive a child. I was really naïve. It really means conceiving a child and doing away with it before/even after it is born. That is not reproductive choice after the fact; that is plain infanticide. But then infanticide has always been a practice with humankind throughout the ages.
Heidi

Heidi wrote on 07/12/13 3:46 PM

Thank you for not only pointing out the stupidity of Congress, but the STUPIDITY of Dr. Burgess.

Add A Comment
(it will not be displayed)




SEARCH BIOETHICS TODAY
SUBSCRIBE TO BIOETHICS TODAY
ABOUT BIOETHICS TODAY
BIOETHICS TODAY is the blog of the Alden March Bioethics Institute, presenting topical and timely commentary on issues, trends, and breaking news in the broad arena of bioethics. BIOETHICS TODAY presents interviews, opinion pieces, and ongoing articles on health care policy, end-of-life decision making, emerging issues in genetics and genomics, procreative liberty and reproductive health, ethics in clinical trials, medicine and the media, distributive justice and health care delivery in developing nations, and the intersection of environmental conservation and bioethics.
TOPICS